I was reading through Kristin Lamb’s latest post about plot structure today, when I was struck with the realization that I still have a lot to learn as a writer. And I think the scariest part of this realization is that if I’d known at the outset how hard true success in writing would be I never would have made it this far. Back then I had a special brand of stupidity known in some circles as optimism. I had read all the advice about how hard it was going to be to get into the fiction world, but of course I knew none of it applied to me.
And even though I know better now, I’m glad I didn’t back then. I’m glad I had enough stupid optimism to keep going, to reach the point where I’d be able to take joy in the writing for itself, without wondering whether it would sell or not. Don’t get me wrong, I still really want to be published, but now, five years and six unsold books after I first started writing, I’ve come to realize that the journey may still be just beginning, and part of me is okay with that.
A few years ago, I made myself a promise that I would keep writing until I was either published or dead. More than once since then I’ve had my doubts about whether that was a wise commitment to make, but today I’m as firmly committed to my writing as I’ve ever been.
Maybe five years from now, I’ll look back at myself and wonder how I could have been so naive, but for now at least I know I’m moving in the write direction. 🙂